Salt Damp Free Inspection and Quote

Salt damp in your home isn’t something to fear or shy away from. At Tech-Dry SA we offer treatment solutions that are suitable for all homes. Our work can be completed in stages to assist in keeping costs down.

Furthermore, getting on top of your salt damp and repairing the damage when you first notice it can help you to avoid expensive issues later on.

We completely understand, however, that it can be quite a confusing and scary time. That’s why, from your initial contact with us in the office to when you receive your quote on email, we try to make sure the process is pain-free and that you understand how best to treat and repair your home.

How can I make an appointment?

To make an appointment you can either call our office (on 81321166) or email us (by clicking here). A quick chat with Kim or Kate will determine if we can help (based on factors such as the age of home and location of the damp). If we can help, a suitable day and time is organised for your free inspection and quote. (We pride ourselves on being on time).

What happens during our Free Inspection and Quote?

Once on site our estimators, Neil or David will ask you to show them the areas of concern. They will determine if the issue is in fact Salt Damp (and not an issue caused by drainage, plumbing, backfill or another issue). And they will then assess things like the height of damp, how far spread the issue is and what damage (if any) has been caused to both your plasterwork and external walls.

They will measure up the affected walls and then discuss with you what they propose as a suitable course of action. They will discuss (and answer any questions) about the entire process. The treatment, the product we use, and the followup repairs that we will undertake inside and outside. An indication of price can also be given at this time.

During this time, they may also identify areas of your home that you will need to repair to prevent other damp issues such as leaking gutters, blocked downpipes or drainage issues.

Once they have finished they will draw up a diagram of the affected areas and put their recommendations into a written fixed price quote. This will be emailed to you approx 3 -5 business days after they have been on site.

Why Tech-Dry SA?

I think that is probably the most important question here – why trust us to undertake a free inspection and quote in your home.

Firstly, because of our experience. Both Neil and David have been inspecting and treating salt damp now for over 20 years. They both have a vast amount of experience assessing homes and heritage properties throughout all areas of South Australia. They are both specialists in Heritage. We can work with you to determine the best heritage outcome for your property.

Secondly, we have a Builders Licence, we are fully insured and all of our staff have Police Checks. We are members of the HIA and Master Builders Association of South Australia. We are also on the SA Government register for Heritage Approved Contractors.

Thirdly, it is entirely free (even if you don’t have salt damp). Our time and the advice given comes with no obligation, charge or hard sell. No dodgy tactics or incentives just honest advice based on our experience.

Most important, we will only quote you if you have salt damp!

Still, need some more information? Check out this video of the free inspection we did at the 1910 home of Lucy Cornes from She Shopped.

Case Study: Salt Damp Repair – Clarence Park

Case Study:  Salt Damp Repair Clarence Park

Location: Clarence Park

Type of Home: 1920’s Bungalow – Sandstone front, red brick to sides

Project Manager: Neil Williams

Issue: Severe damage to sandstone and bricks at base of the wall due to long-term exposure to salt damp.

Solution: Tech-Dry rebuilt some areas of wall before injecting a new damp proof barrier at the base of the walls.    The client then waited 6 months to allow time for trapped moisture and salts to evaporate to the surface.   Tech-Dry then repaired the front stonework and side brick walls of the home.

Details from Neil:

Marie asked us to inspect due to concerns about the condition of her walls.   The first thing I noticed was the damage that had occured to the sandstones on the front verandah and walls.  These  stones had been eaten away by the salts and some of these were almost completely gone.   On the side walls the mortar between the bricks had become crumbly and had eroded to the point that i could put my in between the bricks.  And this was happening up to 11 courses of bricks from the ground.   This is quite severe for salt damp.

The first thing I determined was that injection was not going to be possible until we had rebuilt some of the walls.    We proposed to the client therefore that we needed to rebuild sections of her wall, then inject a new Tech-Dry chemical damp proof barrier at the base of the wall.  The new barrier would stop any new moisture (and salts) from rising into the wall.  Once the barrier had been created we would need to wait 6 months.  This time allows for the walls above this barrier to “dry” before we can get our stonemasons back onsite to start the repairs.

Once the 6 months was complete our stonemasons returned onsite to work their magic.  They began the slow process of removing the salt affected pointing and replacing it with new lime mortar.  They also removed any of the affected sandstones and bricks and carefully choose their replacements.  This means the new stones will blend in with the existing stones in the wall.   Where necessary they also cut blocks of sandstone by hand to place into the wall so that they fit.   As a part of our overall repair service they also completely replaced the verandah floor as the previous slab had moved and cracked.

From the Client:

“I would like to pass on my appreciation of the magnificent job done by your staff, who I found to work together very well.  I am more than pleased with the work they did and I will certainly be more than happy to recommend Tech-Dry and your employees to anyone who is looking for damp proof work to be done.  Thanking you, Marie”.

Ready to get a quote for your home then click here to contact us to organise a suitable time. 

Cost of Fixing Salt Damp

WHAT IS THE COST OF FIXING SALT DAMP?  

We understand that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding the cost of fixing salt damp.   And whilst a free inspection and quote is helpful we get that you are researching firstly to determine if it’s within your budget.    Or maybe a building inspector has just alerted you to an issue in a house you are considering buying and you need to know what it will cost to fix.

Our aim with this article is to provide you with up-to-date honest and reliable information to help you budget for your project and understand the hidden costs involved.

Please remember that this is a guide only.  It is not a quote and prices will vary at your property. 

Firstly there a few things to consider:

  1. Is your problem definitely Salt Damp?
    It is worth reading our checklist first. Click here to read. Often the issue relates to another form of damp, condensation, mould or musty smells and so therefore these costs won’t apply.
  2. Will maintenance fix the Salt Damp?  Are there other tasks around the home that will fix the issue?  For e.g. Could you lower the pavers and expose the existing damp proof course?   Or could you improve the issue with increased drainage?
  1. Will you be removing these walls in the next 1 -3 years?
  2. And lastly how badly affected are the walls?  In some rare occasions it may be impossible to inject a wall for structural reasons and it will therefore need to be rebuilt first.

COST OF FIXING SALT DAMP?

Now let’s get down to the reason you are still reading… what is the cost of fixing Salt Damp?     Our advice relates to the injection of a waterproof cream barrier to the base of your walls to prevent the rise of moisture and salts.

The cost of injection does vary significantly from property to property and is dependent on things such as:

  • Thickness of walls

    Treatment with cream is done from one side of the wall only regardless of the situation.  The price increases as the thickness of the wall increases.  A single brick wall is charged a lot less than a double brick / double brick with cavity.
    Price Guide:
    Single Brick                                                                  $70 – $95 per lineal metre
    Double Brick/Block                                                    $85 – $105 per lineal metre

  • Fabric of the walls

    There are many types of masonry and each has its own issues.   Limestone is more porous and may have greater damage but bluestone is harder to drill into and requires more product.
    Price Guide:
    Brick:                                                                                as above
    Block:                                                                               as above
    Stone below 450mm thickness:                                 $120 – $150 per lineal metre
    Stone above 450mm thickness:                                 $150 – $200 per lineal metre

  • Damage to the wall

    Treatment only stops further moisture and salt from rising into the wall.    After the initial treatment  follow-up internal and external repairs are required.  e.g. removing and replacing damaged plastering, removing and replacing damaged render, replacing missing mortar or badly affected stones.   These costs should be considered in your overall budget and you should request a quotation for these at the time of inspection.  The amount you pay for these repairs will be determined by the client and is dependant on how far you wish to take the repairs.  Some people only wish to repair damaged areas others wish to restore the home fully.    Dependent on the damage too some tasks will take a couple of days others will take a few weeks.

  • Height of the problem

    Salt Damp normally does not rise any higher than 1 metre.   However, sometimes the issue has been left for a long time and the height of the problem has risen beyond what is considered normal.   The repairs of this could therefore cost more.

  • Number of metres
    You may find also the more metres you do the less it will cost.     Also a minimum charge to cover setup may apply.

ADDITIONAL COSTS:

As with any building project there are additional costs which may be relevant in your situation and these should therefore by factored in.   These can include (but are not limited to).  It is important to ask about these at the time of your onsite inspection.
– Removing and replacing power points, data points and telephone points.
– Removal , refitting and/or replacement of skirting boards and tiles
– Temporary relocation of air-conditioning unit
– Painting / flushing joints
– Generator Hire
– Rubble / Waste removal

There is a lot to consider yes.   But by using a fully licenced and trusted professional the fear and uncertainty regarding the treatment and repairs should be less.       An onsite inspection, fixed price quotation and discussion with professionals should give you all the information you need for your project.

Ready to get a quote? – click here to request a call to organise a time. 

Is it Salt Damp? – A Quick Checklist

Have you seen some damage to your walls and thought “Is it Salt Damp?”, then this Checklist is just for you.

So grab your IPad, load this checklist, and start to have a look around your home.  Start at the beginning.   Are the first 3 statements true?  If not, then it is unlikely the issue is Rising Damp and Salt Attack but another form of damp. But don’t despair … give our office a call on 813221166 and we can try and assist you further or point you in the right direction.

If they are true then keep reading.   Do any of the Exterior and/or Interior statements match the issues you are seeing around your building?  If yes, jump on your phone and give us a call.  We can get your sorted in no time at all.

Is it Salt Damp? – Firstly:

  •  Was the property built before 1978?
  • Is there an obvious damp proof barrier at the base of the wall between foundation and bricks? This could be black plastic, kiln fired bricks or tar. If one exists does it appear to be functioning?
  • Are the symptoms occurring on the first floor of the building only – Is the damp below eye level?

Is it Salt Damp? – Exterior Signs:

salt damp on external brick wall

  • Exterior damage to wall (as mentioned below) from ground level to maximum height of about 1m
  • Brick faces have “blown” off or crumbled away
  • Stones have begun to crumble and erode
  • Gaps between bricks and /or stones begin to appear
  • Mortar is “dusty” and / or crumbling between your stones and or bricks.
  • A dark or wet stain is evident at the base of the wall (particularly during wet weather)
  • Vents appear to be clogged with dirt / mud or there are no vents at all visible in wall or partially covered by paths or paving.
  • Render is bubbling or breaking away from the wall surface.
  • White furry salts (efflorescence) is appearing on the wall

Is it Salt Damp? – Interior Signs:

salt damp on internal wall

  • Plaster inside is damp and /or bubbling and breaking away from the wall surface
  • Paint inside is damp and / or bubbling and blistering off the wall.
  • Tide line or a line of moisture appears at the base of your wall.
  • Wall is beginning to discolour
  • White furry salts (efflorescence) is appearing on the walls
  • Skirting boards are beginning to rot or appear damp
  • Damage and / or dis-colouration is appearing at the base of the walls up to a maximum height of about 1m
  • Damage is not localised to a small patch behind a bathroom / toilet / laundry / kitchen

Think you may have salt damp then give us a call or click here and we can arrange a time to come out for a free inspection.

General Notes:

The above information is a guide only. Often these signs could indicate a different damp related issued. It is therefore best to always consult with a professional and request a free onsite inspection. At the time of inspection they will be able to determine if you have a problem with Salt Damp and the best means of rectifying the issue.

Be very wary of contractors who are happy to quote over the phone to fix a salt damp issue without inspecting your property. It will be impossible for them to advise over the phone if it is salt damp or an issue from a pipe leak, roofing issue, lateral damp or sub-floor ventilation.

 

Lateral Damp… Salt damp is not the only damp issue.

What is Lateral Damp?

Our homes are traditionally built to protect us from the elements and be watertight.   However damp issues are one of the most common maintenance complaints around a home.   Commonly we are able to advise our customers that their issue is not Salt damp but in fact Lateral damp.

Lateral damp or penetrating damp is the result of the passage of water through a wall in a horizontal direction.    In South Australia most properties are built with brick or stone.   This masonry is very porous in nature.   If these walls become exposed to excess water the masonry will absorb the water into the wall.  This process is similar to that of putting a sponge in a bowl of water.

Many times the water also carries soluble salts.  The water and salts eventually move through the wall and evaporate onto the surface side on the opposite side.    A moisture stain appears and salts are deposited on the surface.   Signs to look for include staining, blistering paint, drummy plaster, salty deposits and efflorescence.

Unlike rising damp, lateral damp can occur at any height on a wall and will occur even where a suitable damp proof course is in place.

There are many issues which can result in your home suffering from lateral damp damage. Before fixing the issue you will need to identify the source of the moisture.  Please note that the remedies below are suggestions only. We always recommend that you consult with a damp specialist for correct diagnosis first.

Some common examples we encounter include:

Garden Bed has been built directly against the house wall.   No issue outside but the customer notices that the paint is bubbling in the room on the inside.
This is common.  Many homes have garden beds placed against an outside wall.   This causes an issue as it covers (bridges) the existing damp proof course but it also allows the passage of moisture from the soil directly to the wall surface.  Constant watering of the plants in this garden bed only makes the issue worse.
REMEDY:   If possible remove the garden bed so that soil is not directly against your wall. 

Plaster has begun to bubble in hallway or bedroom.   Occurs quickly over a short space of time.   A wet area is on the other side of the wall.  
In this situation the problem is often due a leak from the wet area.  It can be as serious as a pipe leak, or tap washers dripping.  In other cases it can be due to minor cracks in the tiles and grout allowing water to pass through into the wall.

REMEDY: Get a plumber in to pressure test your pipes, check for leaking bridging pieces or perhaps additional waterproofing or sealant requirements for your bathroom.

Salt Attack, Efflorescence and moisture stain on retaining, backfilled or cellar walls.
This often occurs when the waterproofing membrane is either missing or has broken down behind the wall.  Without the membrane ground water and salts are able to pass easily into the porous masonry wall.
REMEDY: Ensure there is no moisture sources leaking into the backfill (subfloor draining issues, leaking downpipes etc.). The best solution in this instance is to remove the backfill and place a waterproof membrane between the backfill and the wall. However, in most cases this is not possible and the wall surface will need to be dealt with as a regular maintenance issue e.g. cleaning off salts, poulticing to remove salts and inside sacrificial plastering.

Sprinkler systems; excessive moisture penetration on one section of wall from constant water.
This causes an issue as large amounts of water constantly hit the same area of the building over long periods of time.    Especially during summer when we all water more often.

REMEDY: Whilst your system is running check the perimeter of each of the sprays and adjust if any are consistently spraying directly onto your walls.

Leaking downpipes, a leaking air-conditioning system, a leaking hot water system; again excessive moisture penetration on one section of wall from constant water.

REMEDY: Home maintenance to check the perimeter of your home and then consult with roofing, guttering or hot water service specialists. Fix the issue asap.   

NOTE: 

Once the problem has been accurately diagnosed and rectified please allow a minimum of an additional 3 months before carrying out any repairs to the aesthetic damage.  For further information or assistance please contact us.